Tourism is a pretty big deal here in Northern Minnesota. Duluth and Superior have been working hard over the years to develop tourism to bring people and money to the area. With the largest freshwater lake in the world right here, that's been something to build on.

Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
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There's a travel site that puts out a 'no list.' It's for places that they recommend people don't visit due to the footprint over-tourism leaves there. It's not saying they don't love the areas, but they urge people to reconsider how and when they visit them.

Negative Factors Over-Tourism Leaves

According to Fodor's 2024 'No List,' Lake Superior is being threatened by overtourism. Here's what their key takeaway says, and why people shouldn't visit.

Key takeaway: The largest freshwater lake on the planet is facing fish-consumption advisories, ecosystem threats like invasive species and algae blooms, and stresses from overtourism, especially in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Lake Superior is the least polluted of the Great Lakes.

I know here in Duluth a lot of work has been done to clean up the St. Louis River and industrial areas that faced problems with pollution. Fortunately, Lake Superior is still the cleanest of the Great Lakes, and Fodor's list is to bring awareness that pollution caused by overtourism can threaten that.

Photo by Julia Joppien on Unsplash
Photo by Julia Joppien on Unsplash
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Last year six tons of marine debris was removed from Lake Superior.

The Superior Watershed Partnership removed over six tons of marine debris, including plastic, tires, fishing gear, bicycles, and appliances.

Photo by Charlie Wollborg on Unsplash
Photo by Charlie Wollborg on Unsplash
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The pandemic changed tourism habits and brought more trash.

If you remember the dark days of COVID when everyone was social distancing, you'll remember seeing how many people took up outdoor activities. Campsites were filled around Lake Superior. Some people either weren't educated or were just litter bugs and didn't follow the leave any trace principle. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan was hit the worst by this, according to Fodor. Some communities had to take action because of all the trash.

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Tourism is creating housing issues.

It's no secret that there is a housing shortage in a lot of these tourism communities. One of the negative factors that tourism can bring in is people converting homes into vacation properties. Those homes used to be for families in the community, and that adds to the housing shortage.

Photo by Stephen Wheeler on Unsplash
Photo by Stephen Wheeler on Unsplash
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Read Now: Canal Park Restaurant Announces Temporary Closure

Fodor says you should still visit places on the '2024 No List,' but proceed with care.

They are asking their readers to find new ways to visit and interact with the places on the list. They recognize how important tourism is to these areas, but they want to educate travelers on some of the negative impacts of tourism.

 Other places around the world that made the list.

  • Venice, Italy
  • Athens, Greece
  • Mount Fuji, Japan
  • The Ganges River, India

Those are just a few of the other places they put on the 2024 No List. You can read the whole list and read traveler's comments on Fodor's website.